MRIs Allow for Communication with Vegetative Patients

Scott Routley, 39, was in a car accident that left him in a vegetative state more than 12 years ago. Today, Scott still shows us that he has a “conscious, thinking mind.”

Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) scans show that he is answering the doctor’s questions. He says he is not in any pain. Adrian Owen, the British Neurologists, says, “We believe he knows who and where he is.”

The team of doctors, led by Owen, is located at the University of Western Ontario at the Brain and Mind Institute. Their original, traditional tests say that Routley was left in a vegetative state with no brain activity whatsoever. Owen thinks this is a cause to rewrite the textbooks on brain-injured patients.

While it’s unclear whether or not this increases Routley’s chances of waking up, this discovery can substantially increase his quality of life: when he prefers to be fed, what he prefers to eat, etc. Especially since the fMRI is a harmless procedure, unlike radiation, the tests can be performed on a regular basis.

To read more about Scott Routley, click here and to book an MRI of your own, or get more information, call Rosetta Radiology at 212-744-5538 or visit

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